I'm a terrible drone pilot. I don't practice. I spent about 20 mins learning the Solo, then went right out and started shooting footage for TV commercials (I do a bunch of local car and RV lots). In GPS mode, using cable, it's simple and easy to fly these things. It sure took me a lot longer to learn how to frame a good shot then to fly a solo. My grandson can do it. My point is, I suspect that drones are getting easy enough for even bad pilots like me to fly without training (my self-training cost me 4 props). And I only paid $599 for my Solo! Just not sure why someone would hire out for shots unless it was just a one-time thing. Kind of like, my 85 year old parents hired a Geek Squad guy to come out and set up their TV/Cable/sound system. Most average people just do it themselves.
I'm not a pilot, I'm a video production guy. I'm sure there are much more complicated drones that will do more stuff that require hire-able skills. But the Solo doesn't seem to be something I'd want to try to make a living at. With the SOLO, the drone flying part is the easy, anyone can do it part of my work. I'm not sure there is much value in it compared to many other things, making it hard to charge for. If I'm already doing a shoot for a commercial, I add an extra $50-$100 for the drone shots. I'm out there shooting already, and it takes me, what? Fifteen minutes of setting a few points and pushing PLAY? Whereas, to do a short video sound bite I set lights, multiple cameras, audio mic and monitor levels, etc. All which require a lot more skills and experience to do well. The Solo shots are the easy, simple part.
Maybe teaching a farmer or some other end user how to hit Fly, and then A, and then B, and then PLAY.... Oh shoot! I just did the entire lesson in one sentence!
I've got a friend who does homemade drone racing. NOW we're talking skills! A little Solo drone action is child's play (in GPS mode!). I just don't see an industry in the future as it gets even easier. When (IF!) a battery ever lasts an hour, a farmer could set points once and then just hit play and go back to work.
Just to be clear, I'm only talking SOLO. I'm sure there are much more complicated drones that will do more stuff that require hire-able skills. But the Solo doesn't seem to be something I'd want to try to make a living at.
Oh, and one more admission of guilt. I did also buy better antennas, 3 extra batteries, a dedicated gopro, a cheap tablet for the monitor, and soon the wireless replacement circuit boards. I'll be into it about 2k. I've made most of that back already on existing jobs I add the Solo to with a fee bump.